The RNC has been a mess. My last two posts have been comedic and focused. I’ve turned most of my attention to the inside of the RNC, largely ignoring the protesters outside, which I’m sure have been noteworthy in their own right.
It’s worth noting that while Trump is the lowest hanging target for news comedians like Stephen Colbert, he is far from the most dangerous thing to come out of the Republican party this year.
The GOP platform in its entirety is like a doorway to a time when most of the luxuries and rights we take for granted today were up for debate. Notably, the party recognizes porn as a public health crisis. In fact, that’s part of the reason it’s taken me so long to write this post. If they’re going to ban it, I’m going to make the most of the time we have left.
Anyway, with my concern about that bit of policy finally sated, I got a chance to read the rest of it. I wish I hadn’t.
There are plenty of problems. It’s theocratic. It’s capitalism-plus. It lays out policy positions that are unacceptable in modern countries.
There’s one line in particular that broke my heart, and it wasn’t about pornography or LGBT rights.
“We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.”
At first glance, that seems benign. It’s only when you pause to wonder why Republicans felt the need to include this line that you understand the horrifying implications of this sentence.
Primarily, this refers to laws requiring underage women to get parental permission before getting an abortion. This makes abortion even more difficult for many young women, which is a terrible policy position that, if ever enacted, is destined to fall on the floor of the Supreme Court. The question that remains is how many lives would be destroyed before it got there.
That position broke my heart, and then a Friendly Atheist piece made me realize that this plank of the platform could mean something even more destructive: conversion therapy. Actually, in addition to conversion therapy, this could apply to parents who send their children to programs like the one featured in Kidnapped for Christ, since that is marketed as a rehabilitation center for teenagers. Essentially, this position could be used to justify the torture of children.
When I thought about it a little more, it got even worse. There is a segment of the American population who is determined that natural selection must continue in spite of scientific advancements meant to cut down on disease-related deaths. There is still no cure for stupidity, and if there was, the faith-healing crowd would refuse that, too. In some states, ‘faith healing’ your kids to death is not considered neglect because it’s filed under ‘freedom of religion’ instead. It’s legal to pray your kids to death in other states. Given the support base for these laws, it’s not beyond reason that this bit of the GOP platform could be taken to endorse that, too.
This, to me, is the most terrifying thing about this entire election cycle. We have a political party that is advocating for allowing parents to torture and kill their children.
Yes, banning pornography is ridiculous. Yes, Trump is an egotistical maniac. Yes, Pence would destroy the country if he ever got half a chance. I’m less afraid of all of that than I am of this platform.
There are funny things about this election. We’re all laughing so that we don’t end up crying because the past year has been a mess. Still, not everything is a joke and the lack of concern about this is worrying on apocalyptic levels.